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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-91-188-2205, Bethlehem-Center Elementary School, Fredericktown, Pennsylvania.
Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, HETA 91-188-2205, 1992 Apr; :1-42
In response to a request from the Superintendent of the Bethlehem- Center School District, an investigation was undertaken of possible hazardous conditions due to materials used during a roofing project at the Bethlehem-Center Elementary School (SIC-8211), Fredericktown, Pennsylvania. In November, 1990 a contractor repaired and treated the tar buildup roof of the school with resaturant. Approximately 7680 gallons of the material was applied to the roof. During this period numerous children complained of headaches, nausea, burning eyes, and respiratory difficulties. Officials closed the school for 4 day. Classes then resumed until April of the following year when unusually warm weather caused another episode of a tar like odor and several students became ill. Hydrocarbon analysis in April 1991 indicated only trace amounts of carbon-tetrachloride (56235) in one of the samples. Carbon-tetrachloride was not identified in any of the other samples nor was it detected in the analysis of the bulk roof material. In June, trace levels of polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons were found, ranging from 0.001 to 0.055mg/m3 benzene soluble fraction. Naphthalene (91203) comprised the majority of the sample, ranging from 0.001 to 0.046mg/m3. The author concludes that no specific hazard was identified at the school, but the odor had brought to light a preexisting situation where there was inadequate intake of outside air and poor circulation of existing air in the building. The author recommends that the ventilation system be improved.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-91-188-2205; Region-3; Hazard-Unconfirmed; Indoor-air-pollution; Polycyclic-aromatic-hydrocarbons; Roofing-industry; Organic-solvents; Solvent-vapors; Indoor-environmental-quality; Author Keywords: Educational facilities, Elementary and Secondary; indoor air quality; coal-tar pitch volatiles; polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons; volatile organic compounds; roofing tar; carbon monoxide; formaldehyde; carboxyhemoglobin
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division